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While there once was a lot of doubt surrounding how drastically our parents and their tendencies impact us in the long term, it can no longer be questioned. Being raised by a toxic parent can cause a lot of damage to their children.

Now, with that being said, some children end up thriving despite their toxic raising. That much is true. But, it is not what is typical. That isn’t to say that a child raised by a toxic parent can never overcome their raising. They most definitely can. However, that doesn’t discount their struggle to get there.

Because our mothers and fathers (we are speaking specifically today about toxic mothers, but have other articles on the site about toxic fathers as well) model love and relationship skills for us in the way they show us and everyone else loves, when our mothers are toxic it can make things difficult for us in this area. Here are 8 behaviors of a toxic mother that often cause their children to have relationship problems later down the line.

1. A lack of boundaries causes a lack of boundaries.

Our parents teach us boundaries, and when our parents don’t demonstrate healthy boundaries for us, we don’t learn them until we figure out how to teach ourselves or from a therapist. Because of this, those raised by toxic parents may have a hard time establishing or even complying with boundaries.

2. A lack of emotional support causes unhealthy attachment behaviors.

Parents are supposed to teach healthy attachment by making their kids feel supported and secure in this world. When children don’t feel secure and loved by their parents, they show unhealthy attachment tendencies even as toddlers. Researchers observe this by seeing how children act when their parents return from being away. Examples of this are children who are clingy to their parents, never wanting them to move out of their sight, out of fear they may lose them again any time they leave. Or, some develop avoidant attachment, which means they push their parents away when they return to them.

In parent-child relationships where healthy attachments are developed are ones in which the child feels nurtured and loved. Toxic mothers do not show their little ones stable love, and in turn, their children often develop these unhealthy attachments.

3. Harsh words cause low self-esteem.

Toxic mothers have a bad tendency to verbally assault their children, taunting them and even tearing them down. This weighs on the psyche of a person as they grow up, and most especially when we are in our developmental stages. Oftentimes, when toxic mothers speak harshly and unnecessarily cruelty to their kids, what happens is they internalize this and it destroys their self-esteem even into adulthood.

4. Unrealistic expectations of their children, cause them to have unrealistic expectations of their partners.

Many toxic mothers hold unrealistic expectations for their kids. No matter what their kids do, it never seems like enough. In turn, her children will hold unrealistic expectations of everyone else, including their partners.

5. Poor communication causes poor communication.

Much of how we communicate is learned through our parents. When our parents communicate with us kindly, we too communicate with kindness. When our parents communicate clearly and efficiently, we can communicate clearly and efficiently. Now, imagine what happens with a toxic parent: poor communication leads to poor communication. And because communication is so important in a relationship, you can see why this is so detrimental.

6. Untrustworthy behaviors lead to a lack of trust in others.

When children are raised by an untrustworthy person, they grow to believe the world is an untrustworthy place. They doubt everything and everyone, and in a relationship, trust is fundamental.

7. Lack of emotional support leads to difficulty understanding emotions.

Emotional support is mentioned twice because a lack of it can cause more than one problem down the line. Without emotional support, we are robbed of our emotional intelligence to a certain degree. Yes, we can develop this later in life, but it’s much harder than it would have been if our parents had demonstrated this.

8. Lack of validation leads to validation-seeking behaviors.

Children who feel loved, and supported by their parents don’t typically engage in seeking validation outside of themselves, because they develop healthy self-esteem. Conversely, when raised by a toxic parent, you are far more likely to need constant validation outside of yourself.